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The Cambridge High School, Mussafah
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Review

The Cambridge High School, Mussafah

by December 17, 2015
Strengths

• IGCSE, AS and A level achievement is significantly above international benchmarks, both measured in added value and absolute terms
• Added value is at a very high level; Cambridge punches significantly above baseline expectations
• The curriculum is outstanding in inspiring within students an appreciation and understanding of UAE values, culture and society
• Extra‐curricular provision is excellent, enhancing and enriching students’ learning, cultural and sporting development
• Students’ personal development is outstanding – Cambridge very effectively develops students’ leadership skills, universal values (such as integrity and helping others), ambition and global awareness
• Senior leadership in the school is a real strength; the Principal is “pivotal” in the school and supported by other senior staff

Weaknesses

• Overcrowding remains an issue with too many children compressed into inadequate classrooms
• Some facilities are tired and facilities do not compare well with other English National Curriculum schools
• School systems are not sufficiently developed, particularly in tracking student performance, benchmarking best practice and monitoring the consistency and quality of teaching
• Provision of consistent, individual support for students with special educational needs (SEN) is weak
• The quality of Arabic, Islamic Studies and UAE social studies provision does not meet the high standards of other core areas of the curriculum

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
A-
A-
Value
B
A
ExtraCurricula
B
B
Languages
B+
B+
Sports
B
B-
Arts & Drama
B+
A-
Teaching
B+
A
Communications
F
B
Warmth
A-
A+
Differentiation
D
B+
SEND Provision
B
B+
Scl Community
A-
A-
Scl Facilities
D+
B
Opportunities

• Cambridge is a good school offering a very high standard of traditional English National Curriculum based education
• In value-added terms the school’s achievements are extremely impressive with all children offered the chance to exceed international baseline grades at GCE O’ and A’ Level
• Key weaknesses of the school, particularly in overcrowding and tired facilities, are directly related to the low level of fees
• Bottom line, an impressive – and happy - school delivering, for many children, premier school results on a budget, and against significant odds

B-
Our Rating
A-
User Rating
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Established as a micro villa-based school in 1988, The Cambridge High School moved to Mussafah in 1995.

Part of the GEMS group, Cambridge today educates 1731 students from more than 70 nationalities between 3 and 18 years with 910 boys and 821 girls.

The school is heavily oversubscribed with some extraordinarily low fees for both a GEMS school, and one that (at a high standard) delivers the English National Curriculum across the complete range of educational phases from FS1 to Post 16 GCE A’ Level.

Standards at IGCSE, AS level and A level across the spectrum of academic study are significantly above international average benchmarks.

It is worth noting that value added is exceptional; whilst not quantified by GEMS, the fact that all students at the school are learning English as an additional language – and most enter Foundation Stage with very limited, or no, English, means the level of attainment the school eventually secures for its students is very good.

Cambridge is currently ranked A3 by Abu Dhabi’s Education Council (ADEC), a fall of one place on its last report when it achieved the second highest award ADEC offers (A2).

This said, Cambridge High School no longer publishes the academic results achieved by its children and the generic GEMS results that are published mask the information parents, and prospective parents, will be interested in most. As whichschooladvisor advises: “They (parents) will want to know what is happening at this school.”

Further, overcrowding remains a significant issue at the school, notwithstanding that plans to build new classroom and broader educational facilities are in development.

With the significant investment in place that would be required to solve issues of overcrowding and weakness in facility provision, Cambridge, given its exceptional value added, could be a trailblazing school for the Capital. But that level of investment would probably risk making the school unaffordable for the very group of students it currently serves.

An A3 school is a high performing school.

Given its added value, affordability and (albeit) ADEC qualified academic success, Cambridge High remains a school that seriously impresses and one that, on its own terms, achieves as much, if not more, than those schools with more glossy facilities, unlimited funds – and the fees to match.

Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Details to consider
Type of school

Private

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 13,438
FS2: 13,438
YEAR 1: 16,276
YEAR 2: 16,276
YEAR 3: 17,530
YEAR 4: 17,530
YEAR 5: 18,876
YEAR 6: 18,876
YEAR 7: 22,110
YEAR 8: 22,110
YEAR 9: 23,463
YEAR 10: 23,463
YEAR 11: 24,717
YEAR 12: 28,380
YEAR 13: 28,380

Curriculum

National Curriculum of England

External Exam Boards

EDEXCEL
University of Cambridge

Number of A Levels offered

11

A Levels offered

• English Literature
• Mathematics
• Chemistry
• Physics
• Biology
• Computer Studies
• Business Studies
• Geography
• History
• Accounting
• Travel and Tourism

A Level A* to A

Not published

A Level A* to C

Not published

IGCSE A* to C

Not published

IGCSE A* to A

Not published

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

15

I/GCSEs offered

• English [compulsory]
• Mathematics [compulsory]
• Physics
• Chemistry
• Biology
• English Literature
• History
• Geography
• Art and Design
• Computer Studies
• Business Studies
• French
• Arabic
• Accounting
• Travel and Tourism

Selective

Not selective

Waiting list

Yes

Value Added

High (no published data)

Number of Students

1731

Teacher to Student Ratio

Not published

Largest nationality teachers

Indian

Teacher turnover

Not published

Year opened

1988

Location

Mussafah, Abu Dhabi

Student composition

1731 students
910 Boys
821 Girls
220 Foundation Stage
380 KS1
379 KS2
752 KS3-5
70 nationalities
32% Arab
13% Emirati
70% Muslim
18% Christian
9 Special Educational Needs [SEN]

Gender

Mixed

School canteen

Yes

Owner

GEMS

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

50% - 75%

Attainment Pri SEM

50% - 75%

Attainment Sec SEM

50% - 75%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

50% - 75%

Progress Nur SEM

50% - 75%

Progress Pri SEM

50% - 75%

Progress Sec SEM

50% - 75%

Progress Post-16 SEM

50% - 75%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

50%

Islamic St. Primary Results

50%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

50%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

50%

Leadership

50% - 75%

Community

50% - 75%

Facilities

50%

Quality of teaching

50%

Student personal responsibility

65%

Quality of curriculum

60%

School Governance

60%

SEN Provision

50%

About The Author
Jon Westley

Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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Academic
Value
ExtraCurricula
Languages
Sports
Arts & Drama
Teaching
Communications
Warmth
Differentiation
SEND Provision
Scl Community
Scl Facilities